Artist offers microgrants to single artist mothers

By Mia Estrada/KERA News

Dallas-based performance artist Christian Cruz is continuing a second round of the “Artist Mama Fund,” which awards micro-grants to single-artist mothers. 

Cruz, a mom herself, often addresses her Tejana identity and breastfeeding in her work. She was raised by a single mother and wants to be a service to her community, especially those people heavily impacted by the pandemic. 

Photo courtesy of Christian Cruz

“I want them to one: feel validated and two: feel supported, connected and to know someone has their backs,” Cruz said.

Cruz is putting in $750 of her own money to fund the next round of micro-grants. She’s also received some unsolicited donations. Artists of craft, dance, film, media, traditional arts and visual arts can apply by posting an image(s) of their artwork on Instagram and using the tag #ArtistMamaFund2021. 

A group of artist mothers, not including Cruz, will choose among the submissions. The last day to apply is May 7. Last year, Cruz held her first solo exhibition about emotional and physical labor at Ex Ovo in West Dallas, and was featured in Remezcla, a publication dedicated to telling Latinx stories. In May of 2021, Cruz will headline a performance by Teatro Dallas called DESmodernidad, a series of outdoor performances. She’ll present works based on gender roles, cyborgs and quinceañeras. 

Last year, the “Artist Mama Fund” awarded grants to four artists just in time for Mother’s Day: two artists received $250, one got $200 and one received $50. This time, at least three micro-grants will be awarded. The amount is in flux as others reach out to Cruz to make donations.